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Press Release
February 19, 1999
James D. O'Donnell Named Chief of MTA Police

MTA Chairman E. Virgil Conway today announced the appointment of James D. O'Donnell as Chief of the MTA Police.

Chief O'Donnell has an extensive background with the New York State Police, where served as Lieutenant-Colonel/Assistant Deputy Superintendent. He brings to the MTA more than 23 years of expertise in both investigations and security, including 18 years of management and administrative experience.

Chairman Conway said, "Chief O'Donnell's rich experience in law enforcement at a state-wide level will be an asset to the organization, and I'm confident he'll do a great job."

In his former position, Chief O'Donnell supervised and directed the inspection of all administrative and police operations throughout the state, as well as all uniform force operations. He was also responsible for the progress of all investigations conducted by Internal Affairs.

Chief O'Donnell was the recipient of several New York State Police commendations for special assignments and investigations including the Tylenol Homicide Task Force, his role as on-site commander of the Woodstock '94 Music Festival, which was attended by 350,000, and the supervision and investigation of major incidents.

He received his bachelor's degree in Social Sciences at the University of Alabama, where he is also a candidate for a Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

The MTA Police was created in January 1998 with the merger of the MTA Long Island Rail Road and MTA Metro-North Railroad police departments, a combined force of more than 400.